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Help me pick

2290 Views 18 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  CadillacSTS42005
So, my daughter just got her license, and will be getting her first car on her birthday. This means that I get to buy my first Cadillac in 13+ years. I know she doesn't like hatchbacks, and would much rather drive a "big" car. The STS seems perfect.

I've narroved my choice down to these two cars, and was hoping you guys could help me make the final decision. A friend of mine has driven both of them, and thinks they're mint. I won't get to drive them before I make a down payent, since they're in Germany (the only smart country to buy Caddies from in Europe), and I'm buried in work over here.

Both have an extensive "dealer only" service history.

Which one would you buy? I need to make up my mind by Friday, and all help is very much appreciated.

STS #1

- 2002 - 59 651 miles
- Navigation + everything except the sunroof

$19920 (tax free - probably around $34k w/ taxes)

STS #2

- 2002 - 41 060 miles
- Every option except navigation

The only interior shot I've got of #2 is the back seat, but I've been told the rest is in great condition as well.

$18775 (tax free)

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Hm, tough choice. Tell us about your daughter.

The only thing killing the first one is the rims, other then that, that's the one I'd pick.
Stay away from the ones with the rims. Cadillacs have enough issues with wheel bearings and suspension components, without a massive chrome wheel putting extra strain on it. Those rims will also make the car go through brakes at a rediculous pace. Not to mention get some attention from the boys in blue. Also the silver one has almost 20000 less miles, thats about a year and a half worth of driving. I would really want to see service records for either, the northstar is notorious for blown headgaskets, which can be avoided with proper cooling system maintainence. Judging by the rims the black one may have been owned by a younger kid, who probably beat the crap outta it. And don't forget that females tend to not be the most protective about their car's paint, and black shows every single imperfection in the paint, silver on the other hand, will hide most scratches pretty well.
I'd opt for the silver STS with OEM rims.
The black car has super low profile tires ... I suspect it will ride firm, and develop the 120klm/hr shake over time with those hard tires.
At 5 yrs old, the 02 is now ready for its first coolant change.

I take exception to "notorious for blown headgaskets".
If you follow GM's recommended servicing of the coolant intervals, you should be fine. I've owned 4 Northstar motors, and have had absolutely zero engine problems. There's no secret to driving an STS for many trouble free years ....
just follow the service schedule.
i'd take the silver one. the rims look nice but like every one said horrid on the drive train.
Ditto - silver. In my experience with young women most would prefer a sunroof to navigation - but you have to make that call since you know her. If she is going to be driving to a lot of unusual places the nav would come in handy but you have to decide if she is ever going to use it. But the lower miles, stock wheels and color would have me in the silver one.
#2 hands down.
1. Doesn't have those ugly wheels
2. Less miles
3. Cheaper
4. Easier to keep clean
I would choose #1 for two following reasons it's a navi system and black color only if I would make sure that the suspension system wouldn't get hurt due to those oversized rims .
If you are not of those guys who consider OEM navi is a must as well as black color , then go for # 2 .
Changing the wheels to the factory specs is cream puff than installing Navi system that doesn't come with it
but i mean do you really need a navi system. i have have never used mine
Excellent, it seems we've got a winner here. The only reason I even considered #1 was the OEM navigation. Credible sources suggest that it's difficult to retrofit one to a Seville.

I'm a huge fan of proper navigation systems, and by proper I mean ones that really provide useful route information and POIs. OEM systems have their pros and cons. The biggest advantage, naturally, is that they've been designed as a part of the car, and therefore fit perfectly and look great. The biggest disadvantage is that a navigation system is only as good as its software and maps. They should be kept up to date. Most of the time I end up using my cell phone as a navigator, as it has, among other things, an up-to-date speed camera database. :) It's also more discreet, as it whispers the instructions straight into my headset. That leads people to believe that I have a great sense of direction. So the lack of OEM navigation isn't that big of a problem, if you're able to navigate without visual cues (I think she is), and don't need a DVD player in your car (I think she can manage without one).

The wheels on car #1 would've been sold without a doubt, since I'm not a fan of ultra-low-profile tyres myself. Now I either need to locate a matching set of OEM wheels for the winter tyres, or buy two sets of good aftermarket ones for car #2. What I didn't realize at first was that those wheels might have caused actual damage to car #1. I want her first car to be reliable, as having a car sit in a shop for long periods of time really sucks the fun out of owning one. Believe me, I know.

As many of you pointed out, car #2 is much better value for money. Lower mileage for less money. I'm partial to black, but again, silver is a more practical color. Not that she wouldn't take good care of it though, I think she will.

I don't think head gaskets will be an issue here. Germans are very systematic, and these cars have been serviced at the dealer, and certified by the TÜV. I'll also take the one I'm buying to a place, where they'll assess the chassis, test the emissions etc. Again, I don't want to buy her a lemon.

Tomorrow is the big day then, I'll pay a "reservation free" for car #2. I'm really glad she has a unique taste, and likes the STS. We'd probably have a VW Golf or a Dodge Caliber in our driveway if she was more like her friends.

Thanks a million for your input guys, it really made a difference! Please let me know if you have more thoughts on this.
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Good. Number 2 was my pick as well. It has a sunroof... just what girls like!
number sure your daughter would go for number one if she knew the choices because i saw it and im 17 and i was like niceeeeee, but after seeing the silver sts, the black one only spells disaster with its suspension if not now definately later.
Holy Smokes! You have to pay $14,000 in taxes?
Holy Smokes! You have to pay $14,000 in taxes?
That's what I saw. Phuc that :eyebrow:
Oh wait a second, that's for a gallon of Regular 87 petro.
I want her first car to be reliable, as having a car sit in a shop for long periods of time really sucks the fun out of owning one. Believe me, I know.
Word. My parents just bought me a 99 STS for me to drive till as a more comfortable car to the 5.0 I have. I was excited but now the excitement has just turned to bitter torture as I've only gotten to drive it once and since then it's been in the shop due to a cooling problem.

*le sigh*
Agree with misfit about the headgaskets. Regardless of how well you *think* its been maintained, try to obtain the prior service records if at all possible from the dealer. If its a 2002, it need only have had one coolant change in 2006. Any other maintenances are more trivial.

You are also doing well to go with the silver due to the lower mileage. The transmissions can be a little finicky on higher mileage ones, so the lower the better. Those cars are in extraordinary condition so I do believe what you say about the german upkeep. Then again, they do drive some of the finest cars on the planet :thumbsup:

Whats surprising to me is those prices arent actually THAT far off from here in the states. A guy here just bought a 2003 with the same miles for 17000, so considering export duties etc, a grand more aint bad at all. That car looks great, and being in Europe, Im assuming they probably have Xenon headlights standard.
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